McKinsey’s application and recruiting process can be somewhat intimidating and intense. Throughout this process, however, I met countless firm members who wanted me to succeed and who supported me every step of the way.
Coming to McKinsey
Born and raised in Indonesia, I moved to Europe at age 23 to pursue my lifelong dream: studying at Europe’s top institutions while perusing historic towns and watching world renowned orchestra concerts. After completing my PhD in computational neuroscience at LMU Munich, I wanted a global career in data science and consulting. In addition, I wanted to work where diversity and taking the path less traveled are celebrated. Thus, joining McKinsey was a no brainer.
A surprising interview
During one case interview, I had to perform a rather complicated calculation. When I presented my final answer, the partner who was interviewing me told me my answer was incorrect. I thought to myself, “This is it. This is the end of my McKinsey journey and I have not even started yet.” To my surprise, the partner did not dismiss me. Instead, he walked me through the correct calculation. He coached me to the right answer. Two weeks later, I got an offer.
Since joining, I’ve learned the coaching never stops. Like my experience in the interview, I am mentored and guided by my colleagues daily. The interview process mimics the way we work at McKinsey; we constantly learn from each other and we’re invested in each other’s success.
This culture of open feedback and continuous coaching translates to client work. During my last engagement, I coached a client’s data scientists as we created advanced analytics pipelines. They came to see me as more than an analytics consultant; I’m a trusted advisor and I know we have built long–lasting friendships.
Dian is a data scientist in McKinsey’s Dusseldorf office. Prior to joining McKinsey, she worked for the German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders. She has a PhD in computational neurosciences from the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the LMU Munich and a Master’s in Neural Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.
For more information on data science career paths, visit mckinsey.com/TechCareers.